Not your great-grandfather’s Bauhaus.
By Brian Kaufenberg
The Bauhaus was a school founded in 1919 by German architect Walter Gropius with the aim of uniting art and design into a single creative expression under the slogan “Art into Industry.” The Bauhaus, literally “house of construction” in German, bridged the gap between artistic beauty and utilitarian functionality to produce modern architecture, minimalist furniture, and household goods based on industrial forms. The school closed its doors in 1933 under the political pressure from the Nazi party and failing finances.
This spring, a new “Bauhaus” is opening in the old Crown Iron Works building in Minneapolis, which, ironically, produced bridges and pontoons for the Allied armies in WWII. Bauhaus Brew Labs, a 30 bbl production brewery and taproom, seeks to unify craft and commercial styles by “re-imagining classic lager styles that we love and brewing beers with an element of surprise in them,” said co-founder Lydia Haines.
Haines met her husband and business partner Matt Schwandt in Nashville while they both were pursuing music careers. The two moved back to Minnesota where Schwandt and Haines’ father, a former research chemist, began brewing beer. Soon the families came together and started the process of opening their own brewery. “Matt is focused on absolute perfection and my dad had the knowledge to get him there,” Haines recalled.
The 9,255 square foot building will include a 2,000 square foot taproom to serve pints and growlers and host live music on a small stage. A large garage door will open to an outdoor patio in the warmer months, and their Brew Lab will overlook the brewery. The design will of course incorporate many Bauhaus principles of color and structure.
“What we’re going for is Monster’s Inc. meets Willy Wonka,” said Schwandt. He and Haines subscribe to the Bauhaus mind-set that “work and play should be indistinguishable,” and they want the brewery to embody that philosophy, from the taproom to the beer itself.
With beer names like Wonderstuff Neü Bohemian Pilsner, Wagon Party West Coast Common, and Sky-Five! Midwest Coast IPA—“So good a high five won’t cut it,” explained Haines—it’s clear that Bauhaus Brew Labs wholly embraces the Bauhaus philosophy.
“[Bauhaus] is the idea that art is for everyone and art should be functional,” said Schwandt. “Our beer is our art.”
The Brewers: Matt Schwandt
The Beers: Wonderstuff Neü Bohemian Pilsner, Stargrazer German-Stïl Schwarzbier, Wagon Party West Cöast Common, Sky-Five! Midwest Cöast IPA
Visit: 1315 Tyler St. NE., Minneapolis, MN
Hours: Wed–Sat 3–11pm